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COVID-19

How COVID-19 has changed where Americans live

Kimberly Adams Jul 7, 2020
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The biggest share of the movers was young people ages 18 to 29. Cindy Ord/Getty Images
COVID-19

How COVID-19 has changed where Americans live

Kimberly Adams Jul 7, 2020
Heard on:
The biggest share of the movers was young people ages 18 to 29. Cindy Ord/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

The pandemic has changed how we work, how we live and, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center, for many, it’s changing where we live.

Pew ran a survey in early June, and found about 22% of adults in the U.S. either moved because of the pandemic or know someone who has.

The biggest share of the movers was young people ages 18 to 29. About 1 in 10 of those adults relocated because of COVID-19, many prompted by college shutdowns.

People surveyed also told Pew they left to reduce their risk of catching the virus or because of financial reasons like job losses.

Actor Tracey Stephens was touring with a political comedy troupe that had all its shows cancelled when the pandemic started.

“I just had to make a choice, where either I stay in D.C., paying crazy rent with no job, or do I pack things up and just sit and wait it out? But better to sit and wait it out with family,” Stephens said.

Stephens ended her lease and moved in with her parents in Atlanta, where she’s finding some work.

Thirteen percent left their homes for a second home or vacation property, but 61% of the millions of people relocating because of the pandemic moved in with family, primarily with their parents or in-laws.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

What’s the outlook for vaccine supply?

Chief executives of America’s COVID-19 vaccine makers promised in congressional testimony to deliver the doses promised to the U.S. government by summer. The projections of confidence come after months of supply chain challenges and companies falling short of year-end projections for 2020. What changed? In part, drugmakers that normally compete are now actually helping one another. This has helped solve several supply chain issues, but not all of them.

How has the pandemic changed scientific research?

Over the past year, while some scientists turned their attention to COVID-19 and creating vaccines to fight it, most others had to pause their research — and re-imagine how to do it. Social distancing, limited lab capacity — “It’s less fun, I have to say. Like, for me the big part of the science is discussing the science with other people, getting excited about projects,” said Isabella Rauch, an immunologist at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. Funding is also a big question for many.

What happened to all of the hazard pay essential workers were getting at the beginning of the pandemic?

Almost a year ago, when the pandemic began, essential workers were hailed as heroes. Back then, many companies gave hazard pay, an extra $2 or so per hour, for coming in to work. That quietly went away for most of them last summer. Without federal action, it’s mostly been up to local governments to create programs and mandates. They’ve helped compensate front-line workers, but they haven’t been perfect. “The solutions are small. They’re piecemeal,” said Molly Kinder at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program. “You’re seeing these innovative pop-ups because we have failed overall to do something systematically.”

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